Nat Geo Travel Staff’s 2014 Bucket List

The staff at National Geographic Travel is continually criss-crossing the globe to uncover the best and the brightest places, but we have travel wish lists just like everyone else.

Here’s where we want to go in 2014 and why:

> Iceland and Greenland

“I have a strange love for quiet, empty, ‘desolate’ places. I get to read a lot about all the different trips we offer through National Geographic Expeditions, but the ones that really capture my imagination are our polar trips. I would absolutely love to visit Iceland and Greenland.” —Lucy Gubbins, Program Coordinator, National Geographic Expeditions

> The Philippines

“I have roots there. It’s a stunning archipelago of 7,000 islands. And the word needs to get out that the majority of the country—including the capital of Manila, the famed rice terraces of Banaue, and the marine-rich island of Palawan—was not affected by the recent typhoon.” —Norie Quintos, Executive Editor, National Geographic Traveler


“I’ve wanted to visit the Danakil Depression—a surreal geological cauldron with, on average, the hottest temperatures on Earth—since reading about it in middle school. Also on my list: the famous cut-into-the-ground churches in Lalibela; the Kaffa region, considered the birthplace of coffee; and rugged Simien Mountains National Park, a remarkable landscape of canyons, buttes, and rock formations that is said to rival the Grand Canyon—and was one of the very first places to become a World Heritage site.” —Jayne Wise, Senior Editor, National Geographic Traveler

Savannah, Georgia, USA

I’ve been wanting to make a trip to Savannah ever since I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil years and years ago. I’m enamored with the idea of the place–the draping trees, the French toast (I’ve heard such incredible things about the French toast!), the wide porches, and that Southern charm.” —Hannah Lauterback, Editorial Trainee, National Geographic Travel Books


“I’d love to explore before the 2020 Summer Olympics prep takes over Tokyo, eat my way through the entire country, and go hiking in the Kamikochi mountains.” —Kathryn Naumiec, Design & Photography Assistant, National Geographic Traveler


“I’d like to visit Prague Castle and Old Town, and sample the brew-pubs, yes, but also to eat at La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise, where the traditional Czech dishes are inspired by a 19th-century cookbook given to young brides found by the chef. My grandmother was Czech and if for one day I could taste a dish that resembled her homemade plum-filled pierogis or silky halusky (dumplings), it would be worth the trip.” —Susan O’Keefe, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveler


“While Italy, where I spent my honeymoon this past year, will be difficult to top, I can’t wait to see Greece and experience another country with an iconic history that also has great beauty.” —Kenney Kaminski, Human Resources Manager, National Geographic Travel


“I’m targeting Angola, to do some volunteer work, topped off with a stop in Cape Town for some R&R. I’ve never been to Africa, although my grandfather moved there in the ’50s to work at a goldmine in South Africa. He’s buried there in Johannesburg.” —Barbara A. Noe, Senior Editor, National Geographic Travel Books


“It’s been a lifelong dream to visit Antarctica. I want to kayak alongside icebergs and walk among a plethora of penguins. Plus, as a passionate photographer, I’d love to capture it all through my lens.” —Jonathan Irish, Program Director, National Geographic Adventures


“Last summer, Wales was featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival here in D.C., and  I was mesmerized by the Welsh singing and went back several times to hear it. I connected with one of the musicians, Gwyneth Glyn, on Twitter and she said come to Wales in 2014, because it’s going to be the ‘Year of Dylan Thomas,’ which seems like a good reason to me.” —Marilyn Terrell, Chief Researcher, National Geographic Traveler

Sub-Saharan Africa

I’ve never been to Sub-Saharan Africa, so I would love to fill in this gap in my geographic experience. And, frankly, with the upswing in poaching recently, I want the chance to see a rhino in the wild before it’s too late.” —Amy Alipio, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveler

Machu Picchu, Peru

“I’ve wanted to go ever since reading Las Alturas de Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda in a college Spanish Lit class.” —Penny Dackis, Books Marketing division, National Geographic Travel


“My kids got a taste of Europe this year with a visit to London, and they’re pushing to visit Italy next year. The last time I was in Italy was almost twenty years ago so think it’s time to explore it again.” —Kim Connaghan, Vice President and Publisher, National Geographic Travel


“I love being in the mountains, which I don’t see a lot of living in Washington, D.C. That’s one of the reasons I’d love to make it to Patagonia in 2014. Not only have I never been to South America, but the trekking opportunities in Patagonia are second to none.” —Ben Fitch, Associate Photo Editor, National Geographic Traveler

“I have a personal goal of setting foot on all seven continents before I turn 30. That milestone is quickly approaching, and South America and Antarctica are last on my list. There are so many beautiful places in South America, but I would love to go hiking in the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina.” —Jeannette Kimmel, Editorial Business Manager, National Geographic Traveler


“I have been researching a photo safari to Madagascar. The fact that so much of wildlife can not be found anywhere else in the world is fascinating to me. Plus, who can resist a lemur?” —Andrew Coleman, Vice President of Digital, National Geographic Travel


“I would love to visit Hang Ken, a hugely massive cave that was recently discovered in Vietnam because its remoteness intrigues me. I am fascinated by the idea of being able to explore an area few humans have seen.” —Tyler Metcalfe, Associate Photography Producer, National Geographic Travel Digital


“I’d love to visit for the World Cup! The love of fútbol brings people together from all over the world.” —Molly Danner, Program Manager, National Geographic Expeditions and Photography Workshops


“Scotland has my number—a promised land of endless glens to hike, skies to ponder, and whiskeys to taste. The new John Muir trail sweetens the deal.” —Katie Knorovsky, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveler 


“Ever since visiting Jordan last year I’ve wanted to travel back to that region of the world. Oman has so much going for it, including multiple World Heritage sites, great hiking, the Arabian sea, and beautiful new cultural landmarks to explore, including the opera house in the capital city of Muscat. National Geographic Traveler included the country in its “Best Trips” roundup in 2012 for good reason. I’ve also heard from a fellow National Geographic traveler that it’s a country that’s easy to explore since the roadways are simple for Westerners to navigate by car, which amounts to an added bonus.” —Carolyn Fox, Digital Director, National Geographic Travel

LithuaniaLatvia, and Estonia

“I’ve visited Tallinn and want to explore the rest of the dynamic Baltic region and discover the traditional folk cultures there.” —Caroline Hickey, Project Editor, National Geographic Travel Books

Prince Edward Island, Canada

“As embarrassing as this may be to admit, I’ve been making my way through the entire Anne of Green Gables series for the second time this year (the first time being nearly two decades ago!). I’ve always wanted to see Prince Edward Island for myself–the deep red clay, the windswept cliffs, the quaint villages–and meet some of the ‘kindred spirits’ L.M. Montgomery wrote about with such clear love.” —Leslie Trew Magraw, Editor/Producer, Intelligent Travel


“I travel the world every day online, which means I get to see many beautiful and exotic destinations. Rather than traveling off the beaten path, I want to visit Paris for the first time in the spring. I want to stroll Montmartre and be part of the city where many of our greatest writers, thinkers, and artists fell in love and brought Parisian culture to life in their classical works.” —Andrea Leitch, Associate Producer, National Geographic Travel Digital

New Zealand

“Where can you see cinematic landscapes, sip wine, and ski all in one trip? New Zealand! From wine tasting in Marlborough to seeing the North Island’s volcanoes and hiking extraordinary coastlines, my dream trip is at the bottom of the world.” —Sarah Polger, Senior Photography Producer, National Geographic Travel Digital

Where do you want to go in 2014 and why? Tell us in the comments section for a chance to appear on the Intelligent Travel blog:


  1. Nic Hilditch-Short
    July 30, 2014, 3:39 am
  2. Nic Hilditch-Short
    May 2, 2014, 10:57 am

    Wales truly is beautiful and with lots to do, I never really appreciated this country as it is so close to home but after travelling the world and coming back I can see that I had overlooked this impressive landscape.

  3. Diane Epstein
    United States
    January 17, 2014, 6:04 pm

    I’m making my second trip to Iceland and would love to go to Greenland. I love winter landscapes…in fact, I love most things having to do with winter. Seeing the Northern Lights is still an elusive dream. Lapland and northern Norway also intrigue me….give me limitless space, few people, cold, clean air, unpolluted water and a sky filled with the Milky Way and those beautiful singing lights and I’ll be in heaven….really!!

  4. Todd Grey
    January 17, 2014, 5:14 pm

    Your team is surprisingly “untravelled” nothing really new or ‘just discovered’ for 2014 in here in their bucket lists.

  5. nataly
    January 17, 2014, 4:28 pm

    halusky (dumplings) are SLOVAK national food…

  6. Bi Veronica
    Bamenda, Cameroon, C. Africa
    January 10, 2014, 9:44 am

    Last year i visited the rich banks of the River Nile-The longest river in the continent of Africa and my wish is to visit The River Mississippi and its long bridge this year. Secondly my greatest goal this 2014 is to visit the Hindu Kush of the Himalayan mountains for its still,fresh and contemplative natural sites, and the spiritual gifts it offers.

  7. Betty Grant
    Atlanta, GA
    January 9, 2014, 11:36 am

    This year i plan to complete the goal of visiting every state in the US. I have visited parts of 6 continents but never Alaska. When i was young my mother took my brothers and me to each of the 48 contiguous states during several summer vacations. This expedition to Alaska will be my third expedition National Geographic. I know it will be superb, i trust them to make it so.

  8. Soran Ashrafi
    January 9, 2014, 10:50 am


  9. Lou Razzano
    Miami, Florida
    January 9, 2014, 9:45 am

    In April of 2013 I vised Paris for the first time (with National Geographic Expeditions) and absolutely loved it. I took some amazing pictures while I was in Paris (and in Montmartre) but never got to see the South of France, which I would love to do. Last year I went on a photographic tour of Tuscany which was wonderful, but, being of Southern Italian heritage I wanted to revisit the South of Italy (the Amalfi coast and Sicily) where I had been in 1994 (my first time in Europe). So, my next trip to Europe will probably be the South of Italy and the South of France (Provence).

  10. cheryl melamed
    United States
    January 9, 2014, 9:35 am

    I travel to the beautiful Canadian Rockies every summer for 15 years now. Meet friends and go hike the mountains. It is so wonderful and breath taking to be on top of those mountains. I think God is up there.

  11. Margaret Howland
    Bennington Vermont
    January 7, 2014, 10:02 am

    Our plans for 2014:
    1. Spring trip to Monterey and the San Francisco, CA, Bay Area
    2. Fall trip to the UK, Stockholm, and Lithuania — the latter to see where my father’s family originated.

  12. Amy
    January 1, 2014, 3:40 pm

    Bali and Iceland are 2 trips I’ll be taking in 2014

  13. Lizette Preiss
    Socotra Island
    January 1, 2014, 3:23 am

    Socotra Island is at the top of my list by quite a margin. It simply draws me like no other place. Briefly, here’s why:
    1. Its desert dunes
    2. Its incredible mountains
    3. Its beaches
    4. Its trees (you must see the trees!!)
    5. Its blue tarantula! SHUDDER…
    6. Its other strange wildlife
    7. Still not yet on the mainstream tourist bucket lists.
    8. The culture shock factor. It belong to Yemen, and is off the beaten track, located off the horn of Africa.
    9. The excitement factor… Pirate territory!
    10. I’ve seen photos of paragliding there. Paragliding is one of my hobbies and it is wonderful to combine with traveling – can see the destination from a different bird’s eye view.

    In summary, it seems just so weird and other worldly that I have to go there!

  14. David Baker
    December 31, 2013, 8:17 pm

    In 2013 with my two adult sons I drove through the South of the USA, off the main roads, following the cities and locations where African Americans experienced injustice. This year I want to buy a van and revisit the similar area to follow the Trail of Tears where, similarly, the Native Americans also experienced injustice. What was it about this area: civil rights, civil war…was it imperialist expansion from the North and elsewhere? In 2015 I hope to drive the North West for further exploration. I am aware of similar injustices experienced by Australian Aborigines. I am travelling to understand what happened. In between time, I want to drive the west coast…we grew up on West Coast music in Oz!

  15. Rachel
    Toronto, Canada
    December 30, 2013, 6:37 pm

    The list of places I’d like to see is very, very long but my top 5 would be:
    1. Hallstatt, Austria
    2. St. Petersburg, Russia
    3. Alesund and Geiranger, Norway
    4. Bled, Slovenia
    5. Transylvania, Romania
    Looks like my dream to see Hallstatt will happen next year. Cross my fingerz.

  16. Loven Leviste
    Walnut Creek CA
    December 30, 2013, 5:51 pm

    I would just like to drive the US eastern sea board and visit the famous lighthouses in Fall….. It is a simple trip but I hope to achieve it in 2014…..

  17. Martin
    December 30, 2013, 7:14 am

    I’ve been in Iceland twice and I’ll go back in 2014. I absolutely love Iceland!
    Here’s a few of my impressions:!iceland/c1w1d

    More to come in 2014 :)

  18. Mike
    December 29, 2013, 7:37 pm

    I would love to be able to go to California!

  19. Natalie Poitras
    December 28, 2013, 11:37 pm

    I would love to travel up the Alaskan Highway beginning in Dawson Creek, BC, and finishing Fairbanks, Alaska. Northern BC is such an incredibly untamed country with so many things to be seen. From the longest days of your life to the aurora borealis I truly believe nature has given us one of a kind, it seems almost unorthodox to not visit it once in your life.

  20. Christia Lugares
    December 26, 2013, 11:16 pm

    It’s always been my dream to visit Japan and Italy…but Seoul, South Korea is a good destination too :D and of course, Philippines STILL has some places yet undiscovered ^_^

  21. Lesley
    Cambodia and Vietnam
    December 26, 2013, 9:30 pm

    Just today I have planned a trip to these two amazing countries for October next year. I fell in-love with South East Asia on my first trip to Thailand 6 years ago and would love to add these two gems onto my list. Who wouldn’t want to go to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam and Angkor Wat in Cambodia?! Two incredible UNESCO World Heritage sites that need to be seen through my eyes and captured with a camera!

  22. Jean Gaudet
    Sutton, QC Canada
    December 26, 2013, 5:58 pm

    To Leslie Trew Magraw.
    If you make it to PEI, go by Souris and take the ferry to Îles de la Madeleine, then you’ll be astonished.

  23. Ona
    December 26, 2013, 5:54 pm

    Come and visit us in Lithuania!

  24. Ellena Pfeffer
    December 26, 2013, 5:52 pm

    My dad went to Ice land he is a photographer and so so amazing! National Geographic please take a look at his blog! He travels everywhere and got me inspired to take photos!
    I have always told him that his photos are National Geographic worthy!! so please take a look
    And his full blog Please look at his blog!! It is amazing!! Thank you! Hope you enjoy! If you all need more info I’ll be glad to tell you!

  25. Markku Hietanen
    December 26, 2013, 5:18 pm

    The most interesting place to visit in 2014 is the Lapland in the northern parts of Finland. There I shall finally experience an arctic Husky tour with northern lights (Aurora Borealis) and ice-fishing!

  26. Andy Dufresne
    Las Cruces, New Mexico
    December 26, 2013, 2:53 pm

    I really like to travel every year. Since Summer is one of my favorite seosns I expect to go to Rayones, Nuevo Leon which is located near form Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Rayones is a very small town located at the south of Nuevo Leon. This small villiage lies in the middle of the Sierra Madre Oriental. Also, Pilon river which is the primary source of water, cross the entire village. Rayones is one of those magical places with an amazing overview.

  27. Ramel Briones
    December 26, 2013, 12:49 am

    Of all the places that I want to visit this coming year 2014 is the country of Norway . First of all , I want to experience the magnificent Midnight Sun .It seems to me enthralling experiencing sunshine in the middle of the night.

    December 24, 2013, 3:20 am

    I travel almost every month and been wanting to travel to Peru since last year. I will make sure that 2014 will not fail this dream especially going to Machu Picchu. Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland and Sweden is also a first in my 2014 itenerary. And related to this, I’ll go to the “ends of the earth” with the glaciers and all.
    Spring is also my favorite season and I’ll surely enjoy Sakura or cherry blossoms time either in Hiroshima, Japan again or Washington DC and newly discovered Cherry blossom places.

  29. Camille Willemain
    Koh Rong, Cambodia
    December 23, 2013, 8:54 am

    I highly recommend visiting the islands off the coast of Sihanoukville in Cambodia. They are unspoiled paradise sharing the same crystal clear turquoise water as Thailand’s overdeveloped Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. Koh Rong, the biggest of the islands, will eventually have an international airport and casino but today it hosts only rustic beach bungalows and deserted powder white shoreline.

  30. Travels with Tam
    Dallas, tx
    December 21, 2013, 7:17 pm

    I am planning to go to Thailand and the Archipelago of Mergui to dive, the Great Exumas to dive and see pigs swimming at pig beach, Ecuador for mantas, and lots of USA, mostly northern California and OR, maybe WA!

  31. Nancy D. Brown
    San Francisco
    December 21, 2013, 5:24 pm

    I can’t think of anything better than seeing the world from the back of a horse. Reykjavik, Iceland is on my 2014 bucket list. I want to go horseback riding and experience the Tölt, a gait unique to the Icelandic horse. What a trip!